BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 322
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          Date of Hearing:   July 2, 2013

           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY AND TOXIC MATERIALS
                                  Luis Alejo, Chair
                     SB 322 (Hueso) - As Amended:  June 26, 2013

          SENATE VOTE  :   39-0
           
          SUBJECT  :   Water Recycling

           SUMMARY  :  Modifies the duties of the California Department of  
          Public Health (CDPH) regarding the development of uniform water  
          recycling criteria for indirect and direct potable reuse.   
          Specifically, this bill  :

          1)Requires the CDPH to consult with the State Water Resources  
            Control Board (State Water Board) in the process of  
            investigating and reporting to the Legislature, by December  
            31, 2016, on the feasibility of developing uniform water  
            recycling criteria for direct potable reuse.

          2)Requires the CDPH, in developing uniform water recycling  
            criteria for surface water augmentation, to consider, among  
            other reports, the National Research Council of the National  
            Academies' report titled "Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding  
            the Nation's Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal  
            Wastewater."

          3)Sets the deadline of February 15, 2014 for the CDPH to convene  
            and administer an expert panel to advise it on public health  
            issues and scientific and technical matters regarding the  
            development of uniform water recycling criteria for indirect  
            potable reuse through surface water augmentation, and to  
            investigate the feasibility of developing uniform water  
            recycling criteria for direct potable reuse.

          4)Requires the expert panel to assess any additional areas of  
            research needed to establish uniform regulatory criteria for  
            direct potable reuse, and to recommend an approach for  
            accomplishing needed research in a timely manner.

          5)Requires the CDPH, in consultation with an advisory group and  
            the State Water Board, to select the expert panel members.

          6)Requires the CDPH to convene, no later than January 15, 2015,  








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            an advisory group or task force, with specified types of  
            representatives, to advise the expert panel regarding the  
            development of uniform water recycling criteria for direct  
            potable reuse.

          7)Requires the CDPH, in consultation with the State Water Board,  
            to select the advisory group members.

          8)Requires the advisory group to the CDPH to follow the  
            requirements of the state's open meetings law.

          9)Authorizes the CDPH to contract with a public university or  
            other research institution, with experience in convening  
            expert panels on water quality or potable reuse, to complete  
            the requirements of Items 3 through 8, noted above, should the  
            CDPH find that the research institution is better able to  
            fulfill these requirements.

          10)Allows the CDPH to accept funds from non-state sources,  
            rather than from any source, and to expend these funds, upon  
            appropriation by the Legislature, to develop and adopt uniform  
            water recycling criteria for indirect potable reuse for  
            groundwater recharge and for surface water augmentation.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires the CDPH to investigate and report to the  
            Legislature, by December 31, 2016, on the feasibility of  
            developing uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable  
            reuse.

          2)Requires the CDPH, in developing uniform recycling criteria  
            for surface water augmentation, to consider specified reports,  
            monitoring results, studies, risk assessments, research and  
            recommendations of advisory panels, water institutes, the  
            State of California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  
            (US EPA), and other relevant research and studies regarding  
            indirect potable reuse of recycled water.

          3)Requires the CDPH to convene and administer an expert panel to  
            advise it on public health issues and scientific and technical  
            matters regarding the development of uniform water recycling  
            criteria for indirect potable reuse through surface water  
            augmentation, and to investigate the feasibility of developing  
            uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse.   








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            Existing law specifies the types of professional experience  
            required of the expert panel members.

          4)Authorizes the CDPH to appoint an advisory group or task force  
            with specified types of representatives, to advise the CDPH  
            regarding the development of uniform water recycling criteria  
            for direct potable reuse.

          5)Allows the CDPH to accept funds from any source, and to expend  
            these funds, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to develop  
            and adopt uniform water recycling criteria for indirect  
            potable reuse for groundwater recharge and for surface water  
            augmentation.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee analysis, since  
          the CDPH has not yet commenced developing the criteria on using  
          recycled water for surface water augmentation and direct potable  
          reuse, the additional workload required by this bill will likely  
          be minimal.  At most, Senate Appropriations staff anticipates  
          the costs to be in the low tens of thousands.  These costs can  
          be covered either by future appropriations from the Waste  
          Discharge Permit Fund or by non-state funds received by the CDPH  
          for this purpose.

           COMMENTS  :

           1)Background.   In 2010, the Legislature passed SB 918 (Pavley,  
            Chapter 700, Statutes of 2010) which requires the CDPH to  
            adopt uniform water recycling criteria for indirect potable  
            use for groundwater recharge by December 31, 2013, and to  
            adopt uniform water recycling criteria for surface water  
            augmentation by December 31, 2016.  That legislation specifies  
            that the CDPH shall not adopt uniform water recycling criteria  
            for surface water augmentation unless the expert panel adopts  
            a finding that the proposed criteria would adequately protect  
            public health.  That legislation also requires that the  
            adoption of uniform water recycling criteria by the CDPH is  
            subject to the state laws governing the adoption of state  
            regulations.  These latter requirements include public notice  
            of the proposed regulations, an opportunity to comment, and a  
            review by the Office of Administrative Law.

           2)Need for bill.   According to the author, and the source of the  








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            bill, the San Diego County Water Authority, the timely  
            completion of an expert panel report and recommendations from  
            the CDPH on the ability to ensure a safe water supply through  
            direct potable reuse projects is critical for the planning of  
            potable reuse projects in California.  They also state that  
            while no agencies are currently proposing direct potable reuse  
            projects, the safe use of advanced treated purified water for  
            direct potable water would result in significant cost savings  
            when constructing and operating infrastructure, and reducing  
            energy consumption.

           3)Purpose of bill.   The purpose of this bill is to strengthen  
            current legislation regarding recycled water and to assist in  
            the development of uniform criteria and regulations that can  
            help the state achieve its goals to increase the use of  
            recycled water.  Specifically, the bill modifies the make-up  
            of the expert panel, requires the CDPH to select an advisory  
            group, sets deadlines for the expert panel and the advisory  
            group to convene, and requires the CDPH to consult with the  
            State Water Board when investigating the feasibility of  
            developing uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable  
            reuse.

           4)State water recycling policy.   In 2009, the State Water Board  
            adopted Resolution No. 2009-0011 to update the state's water  
            recycling policy.  This state policy includes the goal of  
            increasing the use of recycled water in the state over 2002  
            levels by at least 1 million acre feet per year by 2020 and by  
            at least 2 million acre feet per year by 2030.  State law  
            recognizes that the use of recycled water for indirect potable  
            reuse is critical to achieving the State Water Board's goals  
            for increased use of recycled water for the state.  State law  
            also declares that the achievement of the state's goals  
            depends on the timely development of inform statewide  
            recycling criteria for indirect and direct potable water  
            reuse.
           
          5)Regulations regarding groundwater replenishment with recycled  
            water.  In November 2011, the CDPH released revised draft  
            regulations addressing groundwater replenishment using  
            recycled water from domestic wastewater sources, for aquifers  
            designated as a source of drinking water.  In December 2011,  
            the CDPH held workshops throughout the state and requested  
            written comments from interested parties.  The proposed  
            regulations are designed to replace the existing regulations,  








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            adopted in 1978.  The CDPH states in its website that although  
            SB 918 (Chapter 700, Statutes of 2010) requires the CDPH to  
            adopt revised groundwater replenishment regulations by  
            December 31, 2013, it is unlikely to meet this deadline since  
            the CDPH has not received the additional resources necessary  
            to do so.  Nevertheless, proposed groundwater replenishment  
            (and surface water augmentation) projects continue to move  
            forward.  
           
           6)Definition of key terms:
           
              a)   Recycled water.   State law defines "recycled water" as  
               water which, as a result of treatment of waste, is suitable  
               for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that would  
               not otherwise occur and is therefore considered a valuable  
               resource.  Recycled water, also known as reclaimed water,  
               is former wastewater (including sewage) that has been  
               treated to remove solids and certain impurities, and then  
               allowed to recharge the aquifer rather than being  
               discharged to surface water.  Recycled water is used for  
               many purposes including agricultural irrigation, landscape  
               irrigation, groundwater recharge, energy generation, and  
               seawater intrusion barriers.  Before recycled water can be  
               used for these beneficial uses, the regional water boards  
               and the CDPH require treatment to remove pollutants that  
               could be harmful to the beneficial use.

              b)   Direct potable reuse.   State law defines "direct potable  
               reuse" as the planned introduction of recycled water either  
               directly into a public water system or into a raw water  
               supply immediately upstream of a water treatment plant.

              c)   Indirect potable reuse for groundwater recharge.   This  
               term means the planned use of recycled water for  
               replenishment of a groundwater basin or an aquifer that has  
               been designated as a source of water supply for a public  
               water system.  
                 
               d)   Surface water augmentation.   This term means the planned  
               placement of recycled water into a surface water reservoir  
               used as a source of domestic drinking water supply.  
                 
               e)   Uniform recycling criteria.   State law requires the CDPH  
               to establish uniform statewide recycling criteria for each  
               varying type of recycled water where the use involves the  








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               protection of public health.  
                 
            7)Clarification needed regarding additional research by the  
            expert panel.   The bill would require the expert panel to  
            assess any additional areas of research needed to establish  
            regulatory criteria for direct potable reuse, and "then to  
            recommend an approach for accomplishing any additional needed  
            research in a timely manner."  In the same paragraph, the bill  
            also requires the CDPH to convene an expert panel to advise it  
            on public health issues regarding the development of uniform  
            water recycling criteria for indirect potable reuse through  
            surface water augmentation.  Thus, the bill is not clear  
            whether the expert panel is required to make this assessment  
            only with regard to direct potable reuse, or if the expert  
            panel is also required to make this assessment in connection  
            with indirect potable reuse through surface water  
            augmentation.  The following amendment would clarify this  
            matter:

          In Section 3 of the bill, paragraph (a) (1), at the last  
            sentence, amend as follows:

          The expert panel shall then recommend an approach for  
            accomplishing any additional needed research  regarding uniform  
            criteria for direct potable reuse  in a timely manner.
           
          8)Bill is double-referred.   If this bill is approved by this  
            Committee, this bill is to be referred to the Committee on  
            Water, Parks, and Wildlife.  
           
           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          San Diego County Water Authority (Sponsor)
          California Association of Sanitation Agencies
          California Coastkeeper Alliance
          East Bay Municipal Utility District
          Irvine Ranch Water District
           
           Opposition 
           
          None received










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           Analysis Prepared by  :    Manny Hernandez / E.S. & T.M. / (916)  
          319-3965